Kriya is an invitation to develop and deepen your relationship with humanity, Nature, Spirit and most importantly, Self. When one sits to practice Kriya meditation, one finds the capacity to feel and commune with their own inner guidance. This form of Kriya is an accelerated path to spiritual balance and alignment. There are many forms of Kriya taught in the world today, each one providing a useful and beautiful entry to self mastery.
This particular form as passed down by Lahiri Mahasaya, was interpreted by Ganesh Baba to allow for greater assimilation in the West while also accelerating the process. Ganesh Baba often referred to this version of Kriya as “Crea” for Creative Integration. He was mindful of the expansion of Kriya at the time and wanted to make it attainable for a wider audience while also honoring the various schools of thought. Ganesh Baba created a unique synthesis that is focused on simple, fundamental steps toward personal growth through a process of scientific spiritualization.
A History of Kriya Yoga
Kriya is a tradition passed down, guru to disciple by Mahavatar Babaji. This particular Kriya lineage was passed to Lahiri Mahasaya by Babaji, who then passed it to his disciples, Sri Yukteswar and Sanyal Mahasaya among others. It is important to note that Babaji is representative of multiple masters although one person passed the tradition to Lahiri. This meditative tradition eventually became known to Western culture through the story of Yogananda in, Autobiography of a Yogi. There is also mention of Kriya in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras as well as being referenced in the Bhagavad Gita, a well regarded Sanskrit scripture.
Kriya is translated to mean (kri) action/work and (ya) soul/breath. It refers to the practice or action toward transcendence of one’s soul. Through proper posture and daily practice of breath focused meditation (pranayama), visualization and mantra (sound) one can rapidly accelerate their experience of compassion, increased energy and overall wellbeing.
With every student, the practice of Kriya as a whole has been enriched. This path is unique in the ways it unfolds for each person as every dedicated disciple through history has contributed to the wisdom of Kriya. Each branch provides a direction to the same goal of uniting one’s soul with purpose. Whichever path one chooses to pursue, it is important to keep an open mind and heart and a diligent commitment. It is also helpful to have community for support and teachers to assist in refining one’s technique.
Kriya Yoga Techniques
The core of Kriya yoga is posture and breath. We use breath to reach deeper states of meditative stillness unknown to daily “waking” consciousness. Meditation is the mediation between body and mind, conscious and unconscious, self and spirit. This is accomplished via a set of simple exercise that accelerates the integration of the whole person.
Verticalization or posture is the first and most important step. The spine must be stable, supportive, supple and erect.
Ventilation is breath. Fill the lungs with air so that every cell participates in the expansion of breath. It is a full reposed, rhythmic and relaxed respiration.
Visualization is utilizing the third eye. This is the development and fine tuning of our attention and our inner vision where greater Knowledge is possible.
Vibrationalization is mantra or sound. Internalizing sound is the practice of mantra such as om(aum) in order to connect to the universal sound.